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National Year of Reading 2012

National Year of Reading (NYOR) celebrates reading in all its form and frames. With great events, features, blogs, and reading goodness to come throughout 2012, public libraries will be networking accross the country to bring you exciting bits and pieces that will boost reading in your everyday life.

Every month has a different theme:

January: The amazing read (See the booklist and bookmarks)
February: Laugh
March: Think
April: Feel
May: Escape
June: Dream
July: Discover
August: Question
September: Grow
October: Explore
November: Cry
December: love2read

Check out the Camden Reads blog throughout the year for booklists, reading events and programs, giveaways, goodies, and all sorts of fun! We'll be focusing on all sorts of readings, from Ebooks to ancient poetry!

Spotlight on NYOR ambassadors

The National Year of Reading has a full complement of ambassadors from all areas of community life. These individuals will be supporting NYOR programs and initiatives with their experience, expertise and opinions (vampires vs angels, anyone?).

Jodie Grundy (Youth Community Project Officer at Camden Council)


Favourite Reads (in no particular order):

1. Twitter!!!! Need I say more?! #TwitterMakesMeHappy

2. Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta. This book really helped me whilst I was growing up to realise that it’s okay to be different and unique.

3. History of Britain and Ireland – This book was given to my by a friend to inspire me to track my family history. Reading about history and the past opens so many doors for the future, which I have already discovered.

4. Frankie Magazine – This bi-monthly Australian magazine features music, art, fashion, photography, craft and other cultural content. Being a young designer, Frankie supports local Australian-based artists and designers to do what they love.

5. The Making of Me by Tegan Wagner – Chilling, unforgettable and ultimately inspiring, this is a story of heroism in the face of unimaginable violation and anguish for 14 year old Tegan Wagner.

6. Without Warning by Jane O’Connor – Without Warning details the horrifying events of Black Saturday in 2009 as Jane and her family fought for their lives in the face Australia's worst natural disaster. As a volunteer fire fighter in my local community, I felt so connected to Jane’s story of survival and the aftermath of this devastation.

7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – Full of imagination, change and beauty, Where the Wild Things Are tells the classic tale of a young boy Max and explores his journey of creativity and he becomes ‘the king of all wild things’.

8. The Interwebs! (aka the Internet) is a HUGE favourite read of mine. There are so many funky and vibrant blogs hidden all throughout the interwebs. I Can Has Cheezeburger is a favourite, as well as Memebase.

9. Youth Studies Australia Journal – Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies. This quarterly journal is nationally and internationally recognised for its coverage of issues relating to young people, focusing on the issues affecting Australians from early adolescence to young adulthood.

10. *bespoke* Zine. A quarterly Australian zine, *bespoke* is for the creative and crafty. Perfect to read with a cup of tea, *bespoke* is perfectly full of interviews, stories, tutorials, recipes, reviews and more!

Why is reading important?

Being asked to be an ambassador for the National Year of Reading for the Camden area is a great a pleasure and an absolute honour. The things I want to know most about are all found in reading books, blog’s, magazines, e-books, zines, newspapers, websites and much more. Reading is something I value immensely and hold very close to my heart. Feeling empowered and connected; reading opens my mind and helps me learn to discover new things. Reading makes you aware about what is happening in the present and provides you with an access to the past. Reading about the past is something that I have recently begun, embarking on a journey to discover my family history. Reading enhances your imagination – you can go anywhere and everywhere with reading, experiencing every emotion. To have an entire year dedicated to reading is exciting and fantastic.

Reading also improves knowledge – all you have to do is read one good book and you will know what the joys of reading are. The greatest gift in life is a having a passion for reading. As Dr Seuss says, The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Greg Wright (General Manager at Camden Council)

As the chief executive of a fairly large organisation (300 employees & $110 million annual turnover) I spend a considerable time both inside and outside of work hours reading work related material. It sometimes means that I have to force myself, occasionally, to rediscover the joys of recreational reading. There are, however, often two differing books on the bedside table. Here is a snapshot of my tastes:

· I’ve always enjoyed the classic, character-driven mysteries from the likes of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and own their full, collected works. I re-read them every few years, often discovering nuances that I have missed before.

· For escapism, I enjoy (once or twice a year) a techno thriller from the likes of Clive Cussler.

· I read a lot of biographies on people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

· I have particularly enjoyed the Australian war history work of Les Carlyon in “Gallipoli” and “The Great War”.

· I also subscribe to endless classic car magazines (mainly from the UK) which aligns to one of my favourite pastimes. In fact, I have a very comprehensive library (over 100 volumes) on Jaguar cars.

Greg Warren (Mayor of Camden)

· The nemesis file : the true story of an SAS execution squad / Paul Bruce

· The first Wallabies : and the defection to rugby league / Peter Sharpham ; foreword by Peter FitzSimons

· Recollections of a bleeding heart : a portrait of Paul Keating, PM. / Don Watson

· The Prince / NiccoloÌ Machiavelli

· Captain Rebel / Frank Yerby
"Reading is not only one of the oldest forms of communication it remians the most common to convey a message, reading is the foundation of our educational principles. Personally, I love reading to and sharing stories with my kids and whilst time is forever a challenge to get right into to a great book for myself, once I do I can’t put it down and thouroughly enjoy the uniques intrigue that comes with the experience!"

Iliana Stillitano (Journalist- Camden Advertiser)

Favourite Reads

Some people have described this story as bleak and dark but I found much warmth in McCourt’s story of growing up in poverty. I loved that I could feel his resilience and his strength as he recalled moments of weakness and melancholy. A very moving and poignant memoir.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover but it was the picture of maverick neurosurgeon Charlie Teo on the cover that prompted me to buy this book. I’m fascinated by the amazing work Teo does in the face of so much opposition from his peers. But I quickly found that this book was so much more than just Teo. It’s about the life of another talented man, a life cut much too short by an insidious disease. This is one of just a few books for me that was written so beautifully I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to miss a moment of Aaron McMillan’s story, a man so brave that you can’t but help feel inspired.

You only have to scan the titles on my bookshelf to know I’m not big on fiction. True crime and biographies are more my genre. But this book became one of my favourites from the first page. The mark of a gifted author is one who is able to grab your attention with the first sentence and doesn’t let it go until you’ve finished reading the last. This was one of those books for me. A tale about two families living parallel lives, a secret so haunting and the power of love and forgiveness. I couldn’t help but feel moved by this book.

Deceived, by Sarah Smith and Kate Snell

This book reminded me of the Nigerian fraud scam and its many naive victims. A woman trusts in a man who says he is a secret agent. She severs all ties with her family and friends and goes on the run from the IRA. It reads more like a thriller than a true story. I was gripped by the author’s gullibility that I wanted to keep reading to understand how someone could be drawn so deeply into a web of deceit. Strange but mesmerising.

One from my favourite genre and I found it most profound. A heartbreaking, rollercoaster ride of a read about a mother who overcomes challenges and obstacles to find her abducted daughter. A true example of determination.

Illiana on reading:

"Growing up, it was a rare moment to see me without a book. As a child, I treasured the Little Golden books my mum bought me; at school, I would rush to borrow any book by Enid Blyton; and now with the same gusto I can’t wait to buy a new biography or true crime tale. To watch my own children now reading some of the same titles I grew up reading makes me proud that they value the joy of reading as much as I do."

Eva Campbell (Councillor, South Ward)

A list of life-changing books...

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque

The Catcher in the Rye - John Sallinger

Loser - Peter Ustinov

Taronga - Victor Kelleher

Parkland - Victor Kelleher
If this is a man - Primo Levi

Cloudstreet - Tim Winton

Maestro - Peter Goldsworthy

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

The Fiftieth Gate - Mark Baker

Chris Patterson (State Member for Camden)

Chris' thoughts on reading:

There is nothing better than sitting down with a good book and I encourage everybody to make the time to do so where possible. I use the train on the way into Parliament as my reading time which works well. If you don't have the time to read for yourself I would encourage you to read to the kids as much as possible as this time together is invaluable.

Chris' last read:  Roger Rogerson- The Dark Side (I purchased this when Roger spoke at the Narellan Library in December 2009).

Other recommendations:

I asked Matthew (3.5 years) about his favourite books- Wake up Jeff, A magical Night before Christmas, Peppa Pig- Lost Glasses and Go Diego Go- Diegos Egyptian Expedition.

Thomas (8 years) has just started book 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban) again after finishing all seven books in the Harry Potter series.

8 year old Sophie her two favourite books are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and EJ 12 on the ball.

Mandy Perrin (Editor - Macarthur Chronicle)

"Reading opens your mind to the world. Experience a great adventure, solve a murder-mystery or fall in love – all through the pages of books. Allow your imagination to soar as you step into the future or the past. Visit magical realms, fight injustice, cry over a tragedy or laugh out loud. You will never be bored with a book in your hand."

Top Reads

All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot

Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

The Persimmon Tree – Bryce Countenay

Gina Scarcella (Community Services Trainee)

Top Reads

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Son of Shadows (and rest of Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier

Shatter Me by Tahreh Mafi

Jenny Pox (series) by J.L Bryan

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

 "Reading pulls us into a world deeper than our own. We can see and hear and smell without having it right in front of us. It makes us believe it's our own, no matter where in the world we are. We all see the same world and gives us a new meaning of reality."

Mrs. Hughes (Home Library Service Member)

"Libraries are a vital part of our community however little is said about the service of the "Home Library" supplied by the council. This service is a lifeline for many of our forgotten people isolated by disabilities or the health problems that present themselves as we age.

The Librarians I am sure are gifted psychologists. They pick up on our needs be they emotional, large print books or talking books plus taking time to make contact re any new aids that may help us/ The volunteers who deliver our books are often the only limited outside contact the client has are astute at observing our problems emotional and physical. They give a cheery greeting that brings a spark in the the day of the client."

Some Recommended Reads